A Bohemia draftsman who downed six beers and eight shots before he blew through a red light at more than 90 mph and killed a retired Medford couple was sentenced Friday to 6 to 18 years in prison.
Before state Supreme Court Justice Fernando Camacho imposed that sentence in Central Islip, anguished family members told him of the hole Kyle Glinka, 23, left in their lives.
Glinka pleaded guilty to aggravated vehicular homicide in the April 3, 2016, crash in Ronkonkoma that killed William Kear, 67, and Joanne Kear, 66. Glinka broadsided their pickup when he ran the light.
Joanne Kear’s brother, Anthony Lamberto, doubled over in sobs as he told Camacho how his sister taught him how to read when they were kids and how her husband “taught me how to be a man.”
He said he was astounded that Glinka, a slight man, managed to drink so much before the crash.
“I’m 250 pounds — I can’t handle that,” Lamberto said. “It’s just so tragic and stupid.”
The couple’s three daughters each described how their parents shaped them.
“My mother taught me what love is, and to love someone,” Kelly Kear Hoffman told the crowded courtroom. She said her father, an Army veteran who served in Vietnam and an engineer, set high standards for everyone, yet his love was unmistakable. Through tears, she joked, “He would tell me to not be such a crybaby.”
But she said she cries in her car every day now.
“I’m lonely, sad and angry,” she said. “My family is unraveled. My children deserve a mom, not such a mess.”
Another daughter, Patricia Kear, said her mother was the type of person who fretted when she passed a traffic accident and prayed that no one was hurt. “I hope someone said a prayer for them as they were dying in the road,” she said of her parents.
After the waves of grief in the courtroom, Glinka quietly apologized. “I’m so sorry for what I did to that family,” he said.
Assistant District Attorney Carl Borelli noted that many people in the courtroom came to support Glinka.
“He could have called any one of them” that night instead of driving with a blood-alcohol content of 0.19 percent, more than double the legal threshold of 0.08 percent. He asked Camacho to impose a maximum prison term of 8 1⁄3 to 25 years.
DUI Defense attorney Michael Brown of Central Islip agreed there was no excuse for what his client did, but asked Camacho to consider how he has risen above a childhood marred by drug-addicted parents who abandoned him.
Camacho told the Kear family that he knew no sentence would be satisfactory, but noted that by pleading guilty, Glinka had spared them the torment of a trial.
He urged Glinka to spend his time in prison understanding the pain he’s caused and thinking about how he can help others avoid making the same mistake.